November 11th, 2012

pinnipeds week #5

Galapagos fur seal at Cousins Rock, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Nikon D300 + Nikkor 12-24mm, strobes Sea&Sea YS-250 x 2

Location on Google maps

It is very confusing sometimes to distinguish between "sea lions" and "fur seals" - many divers mix these two names often. Well for normal people it is really not obvious that the difference is - both belong to eared seals family, appearance is very similar, how you can distinguish between two ? I had chance to feel the difference by myself during my trip to Galapagos, there I was able to see "real" Galapagos fur seals, as opposed to Galapagos sea lions, which are often called by wrong name. "Real" fur seals I met were smaller then sea lions, fur was much thicker, head is shorter, but eyes are bigger - it was interesting to learn that fur seals are more nocturnal animals then sea lions and prefer stay out of the sun during daytime - very suspicious character ! In Russian "fur seal" sounds like "sea cat" - and I felt that fur seals are more like cats comparing to sea lions - more careful, more stealth and nocturnal - eyes are big and very attentive too ! And they are not as big fans of modeling for camera as their lion relatives - but I still captured a few images of them, like one on the top of this post.